Emmerdale star, Chris Bisson, has admitted that the tears he cried for his character, Jai Sharma, for his ill new-born son, Archie, were real!
Fans of the hit ITV soap will know how Jai has just left our screens, escaping the pressures of secret fatherhood for a month in France to try and get his head around the situation.
Jai got his cleaner, Rachel Breckle (Gemma Oaten) pregnant after a one night stand when he was having a rocky time with his wife, Charity (Emma Atkins), ironically after she declared she did want to have a child with him.
Whilst planning originally to have the pregnancy terminated, Rachel decided in the end to go ahead with it and have her baby, but after an altercation with Charity, who knows nothing about the child’s real paternity, she went into premature labour just before Christmas.
As a result of such an early birth her son, who she named Archie, was put on the critical ward where he remained till recently.
Jai at first thought he could have his cake and eat it and had arranged for Rachel to move to a flat in Leeds where he could openly visit his son and be part of his life. However, when Rachel realised that she needed the help and support of her friends and family she decided to stay in the village, meaning that Jai must remain anonymous to the child.
This has proven too difficult for the toffee factory owner, who has tried several times to see his son, and has resulted in his behaviour becoming so erratic that Charity and he nearly left him believing that it was down to their own baby situation.
Now Jai has flown off to France, but in reality the actor who plays him, Chris Bisson, is on paternity leave following the birth of his own first son, Harry, which he admits contributed to the difficulty of filming the scenes of Archie fighting for his life in hospital, which he found “emotionally challenging”.
Speaking to Hello magazine, he confessed:
“There was one scene in which Jai was allowed into the intensive care unit to see his baby for the first time,
“We were using this little prosthetic doll, which was all wired up on the cot, so that its chest was moving up and down to make it look like it was breathing.
“Jai was supposed to pull himself together, walk outside and burst into tears. But I burst into tears before the end of the scene.
“I said to the director, ‘I think you’ll have to use that take because I don’t think I can do that again’. It was 12 hours a day filming an emotionally challenging storyline.”
Happily, his own baby experience has been a huge contrast to the plight of his character:
“Having a child is such a wonderful thing. I’m just glad that my real-life story hasn’t been anywhere near as trying as the one I’ve been portraying on screen.”
Watch Jai and Rachel’s one night stand in the clip below:
Emmerdale can be seen week nights on ITV1/ITV1 HD.